Cleveland Guardians Roster
- AL Central
- Progressive Field
Free-agent right-hander Jaime Barria agreed with the Cleveland Guardians on a minor-league deal on Wednesday, according to sources. Barria spent his first six big-league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and was granted free agency in October. The 27-year-old will receive an invite to major-league spring training next year. In his six seasons with the Angels, Barria appeared in 134 games (62 starts) and recorded a 4.38 ERA (5.08 FIP) and 1.32 WHIP with a 7.7 percent walk rate and weak 17.9 percent strikeout rate in 462 2/3 innings. He had a career-best 2.61 ERA in 2022 for the Halos before dropping significantly this past season with a 5.68 ERA. If Barria makes it to the big leagues for Cleveland, it will likely be in a middle-relief role.
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are among the teams active in trade conversations for Cleveland Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber, according to sources. There are limited options available for starting arms on the open market this winter, so the Cubs and Reds are looking for trade options. Bieber, 28, is still on the right side of 30, although he's coming off a year in which he was limited to 21 starts due to injury. Still, he was solid with a 6-6 record, 3.80 ERA (3.87 FIP) and 1.23 WHIP with 34 walks and 107 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched. Bieber would require a nice prospect haul, though, and it's unclear how willing the Cubs are to part with some of their big prospect names. The Reds, meanwhile, have a logjam of young talent at the major-league level.
MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Tuesday that "several teams have been showing interest" in trading for Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber. Morosi thinks trade interest in the 28-year-old could pick up after the Winter Meetings. Bieber has one year of team control remaining, and while he did miss time in 2023 with right elbow inflammation, he was able to return in September and make two starts. Overall, Bieber went 6-6 in 21 starts with a 3.80 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 20.1% strikeout rate. While these were fine numbers overall, they were Bieber's worst since his rookie season in 2018 and were a departure from his career 3.27 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 27.8% strikeout rate. His injury outlook combined with whether he is traded could impact his fantasy outlook heading into 2024.
Cleveland Guardians outfielder Ramon Laureano avoided arbitration and signed a one-year, $5.15 million deal. This is a solid deal for the veteran outfielder as he was projected to make $4.7 million, according to beat writer Paul Hoynes. Laureano struggled mightily with the A's to start 2023 but picked his game up once the Guardians claimed him off waivers after Oakland designated him for assignment. In 41 games in Cleveland, he slashed .243/.342/.382 with three home runs, 14 RBI, and four stolen bases. He projects to be the starting right fielder for Cleveland in 2024.
The Cleveland Guardians have acquired relief pitcher Scott Barlow from the San Diego Padres on Friday. The Padres will receive right-hander Enyel De Los Santos as the return for Barlow. It's a bit surprising to see the Padres give up on Barlow this quickly. It's worth noting that Barlow is due close to $7 million in arbitration this offseason. Possibly, the Padres didn't believe Barlow's value was worth the pay increase. The right-hander posted a 4.37 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, with 79/34 K/BB ratio and 13 saves last season. He pitched extremely well during the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. The Guardians have a good track record with relievers, so hopefully they'll be able to turn him around.